The first rule of Havas Chicago’s “Breast Cancer Fight Club” is to talk about Breast Cancer Fight Club. The second rule is to climb into the ring and knock it out. Literally.
For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the agency has created an incredible installation in its lobby at 36 East Grand St. that encourages anyone who wants to fight breast cancer to climb into a fully functional boxing ring.
Yes, a real boxing ring.
Rocky would be proud. Every time someone climbs into the ring and throws a punch, Havas will donate $.25, cents to The Pink Agenda – a 501c3 committed to making breast cancer, history.
Set under pink lights, the transformed lobby feels like a breast cancer fighting gym. Posters plaster the walls with facts, such as “1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer” or words of encouragement, such as “the most powerful weapon against breast cancer is a strong pair of hands.” Two punching bags hang from chains attached to ceilings
Leveraging Hysko technology, iPads are mounted on the wall and are counting each punch.
The inspiration for the installation come from Madeline Myers, content writer for The Annex, Havas cultural network dedicated to emerging consumers. Myers says she has a very personal connection to Breast Cancer.
“My best friend’s mother is a wellness warrior. Pilates, yoga, hiking, clean eating; the healthy lifestyle she embodied for herself and her family has always been an inspiration to me. In 2013, my friend was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and her mother with Breast Cancer. When doctors say, it can happen to anyone, they’re right.”
Myers wants to remind people that when Breast Cancer hits one individual, there are others who are also just as affected. She explains that she wanted something to bring them together and fight back. “If we can physically come together, channel the power of positivity and put our fists up to punch as a community, that single hit will have the force to knock breast cancer on its ass and hopefully inspire the rest of the world to join us and carry on the fight.”
So why the boxing theme? According to Myers, the answer is fairly simple. It’s a fight.
“For me, boxing allows people to actually feel the fight. Right hook, left jab, punch after punch, when you take a stand and get active, the energy you exude energizes others around you. So, it’s my hope to spread that vigor with a bold message that began with one single punch.”
Last year for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the agency created #CheckYoSelf, turning the lobby into a room filled with balloons painted to look like breasts. And in 2015, the agency launched a 1980’s-inspired peep show complete with pink neon lights and mannequins stenciled with facts.
Jason Peterson, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Havas, couldn’t agree more as he believes breast cancer awareness has become more and more lax. “This all started 4 years ago when I was walking in the city and saw pink on the buildings. I knew we could do something better. This is not a passive disease and it needs to be met with a complete and utter punch in the face. The level of aggression is purposeful. If you’ve ever known anyone going through this it’s a battle and a fight.”
Anyone who wants to help fight against breast cancer is welcome to step into the ring and lend a hand. And by hand, we mean a right uppercut, or left jab. For those outside the city, we’ve started a GoFundMe page.
Soooo, you’re ticked off at your creative director for changing something in your brilliant ad? Didn’t get that new gig you wanted? Tinder date won’t leave you alone? Put that anger and aggression to good use and go hit the speed bag over at Havas. It’s worth it.
Contact Colin Costello at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @colincostello.com.